By Rachel Barber

Published on August 11, 2015

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Photography by Urban Outfitters

Back-to-school season brings with it dorm decor cravings. You’re planning the perfect domino’ed dorm (right?!) but don’t forget–you’re not alone. Ditch the Christmas lights and band posters for creative, low-key decor that your roommate won’t hate. Get ready for your best year yet!

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Photography by Design Sponge

DIY tape frames

Rather than cluttering your desk with bulky picture frames, hang your pictures on the wall and frame them with colored washi tape. You can use your own pictures, tear out pages from magazines, or print out sayings from Pinterest. The tape doesn’t leave marks on the walls, and the result is cute and subtle.

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Photography by The Crafted Life

geometric photo display

Another great alternative to bulky picture frames. This wire display, perfect for displaying polaroids, looks artistic and modern. Find out how-to make it
here
.

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Photography by Style Caster

map

A faded map in muted colors won’t compete with your roommate’s decor, and it adds a vintage, bohemian vibe.

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Photography by Design Love Fest

DIY garland

Check out the
how-to
for this colorful, simple garland. It’s bright but won’t look cluttered.

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Photography by Artifact Uprising

calendar artwork

Turn your favorite images into artwork and get organized with customizable calendars. Use pictures with similar color schemes for a streamlined look. Make yours
here
.

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Photography by Casa Sugar

lucite

Add some lucite to your space for a sleek, modern touch. You can try it in the form of a desk chair, set of drawers, or organizational tray. Since it’s clear, it’s guaranteed to match your roommate’s decor!

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Photography by I Want to Be Like Water

neutral typographic posters

Instead of predictable band or movie posters, try a unique typographic poster. Go for a neutral that will add personality without being distracting.

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Photography by Ikea

bedside cart

Use a vintage cart to create extra storage. It’s the perfect way to organize makeup, books, or chargers. We love the vibrant color of this one.

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Photography by Brit + Co

dixie cup lights

Another way to upgrade from Christmas lights: DIY dixie cup lights. See the how-to
here
.

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Photography by julia kostreva

something green

Add some life to your small space with fresh flowers. Tiny succulents or cacti require little upkeep and they’re cute!

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Photography by Ashley Ann Photography

double your bed as seating

Create a place for friends to sit by pushing your bed horizontally against the wall and lining the back with large pillows. This easy, cheap space saver makes the room feel more inviting, too.

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Photography by The Everygirl

organizational jars

Stay organized with a mix of jars or trays. Look for porcelain, metallics, or mason jars. Perfect for holding makeup brushes, school supplies, or jewelry.

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Photography by Style Caster

neutral printed bedding

Keep your bedding neutral, adding color with a few throw pillows. Skipping the crazy prints will minimize the clashing between your bedding and your roommate’s. Add different textures through throw pillows, a duvet, and a cozy throw blanket.

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Photography by We Are Scout

confetti wall art

This fun confetti is super easy to create. Pull colors out of your bedding or coordinate with your roommate’s. How-to
here
.

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Photography by The Everygirl

sophisticated desk supplies

Keep an uncluttered desk with matching supplies and different cups and trays for organization. Try to coordinate all of your supplies and desk gear in a simple color scheme.